Covid-19 – Back to Rowing

The following plan has been formed in response to the British Rowing Update published on 13 May and has been agreed by the Rowing and Executive Committees. It has been made to act in both the spirit and letter of Government Coronavirus guidance to protect the health of club members, other river users and the wider public.

The key considerations have been:

  • Maintaining 2m social distancing
  • Only two people from different households meeting up
  • Cleaning of shared equipment and common touch surfaces
  • Minimising the need for help from others, including the emergency services
  • Operating safe rowing procedures

Coronavirus is still with us, this is not a return to rowing as it was. We have to impose limits and ensure we have robust and workable protocols and guidance in place to move forward safely. The onus is on individuals to read, understand and follow these. Sorry if it all sounds overly formal and autocratic, we’ve tried to make it as short and clear as possible.

Some rowing will be available from 30 May, between the following times:

(Private sculls can continue to follow Phase 1 at other times)

Tuesday        4pm – 8pm

Thursday       4pm – 8pm

Saturday        8am – 6pm

Sunday          8am – 6pm  


  • Club and private singles and ‘same household’ doubles only
  • You must be over 18 and have been approved by captain or coach to single scull unsupervised
  • Crew must be capable of getting in and out of a boat unaided and be able to self-rescue in the event of a capsize
  • Boats must be booked 24 hours in advance
  • No solo outings, you must have a ‘buddy’ booked to scull at the same time as you
  • Outings are restricted to the Rugby Club
  • Maintain 2m social distancing at all times
  • Only two people in boat house at any time, unless separated by the boat racking
  • Only two boats launching from or returning to the landing stage at any time
  • You must take a mobile phone with you
  • Adhere to water safety rules
  • Only the main boathouse will be open, you will not have access to any other areas of the club
  • If you or a member of your household has Covid 19 symptoms, please stay at home. 

How it works

  1. Join the WhatsApp Scullers group.
  2. Book your slot 24 hours ahead using the link (this will be sent to you when you have been approved). The slots are 2 hours long and denote the time you should arrive and leave the club. Please do not arrive before this time. You can leave before the finish time.
  3. If you need to cancel or change your booking, use the WhatsApp group to notify others so that someone else can take the slot or your ‘buddy’ may not be able to row.
  4. Wash your hands using soap and hot water before leaving home.
  5. Arrive in kit with everything you need including a change of clothes, water, hand sanitiser, mobile phone and waterproof case.
  6. Do a risk assessment: the matrix is viewable in the side door to the Private Boathouse, this can be done in your head with the total score recorded on the booking sheet.
  7. Enter through the main boathouse doors. There may be a chain and lock across the handle, you will be given the combination for this.
  8. Clean equipment before use using the disinfectant spray and paper towels. Towels to be thrown into the wheelie bin (lid left open).
  9. The first crews down put the trestles out, one in front of the private boathouse and the other in front of the fours boathouse, trestles to be left out and be brought back in by the last crews of the day.
  10. Two people can carry a single out together, staying 2m apart. The boat can be put on the water by two people as well but you will need to get in on your own.
  11. Disinfect all common surfaces you have touched eg. door handles.
  12. Close the boathouse doors if no-one else is there and lock with chain. Use hand sanitiser (please bring your own) before doing so.
  13. Boat, maintaining social distancing.
  14. Use the ‘buddy system’ ie. keep the other sculler in sight.
  15. Do not row beyond the Rugby Club.
  16. Return within your time slot, allowing time to clean and replace equipment.
  17. Thoroughly clean all equipment after use using the disinfectant spray, including the trestles.
  18. Disinfect all common surfaces you have touched.
  19. If no-one else is at the club, lock the chain across the boathouse doors.

Please be aware that anyone not following this guidance will be subject to individual sanction. All boating activity from the club could be halted, should we as a group not behave in a responsible manner.